Should I Move With My Cat?

CatChannel behavior expert Marilyn Krieger, CCBC, explains why moving can be traumatic for a cat.

By Marilyn Krieger, CCBC

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Q: I have a complicated issue at hand. I have been living on my in-laws’ property for the last four years. When we moved here I brought my new kitten Cammy. She is now all grown up and has only known this place for the majority of her life. We are going to be moving and I have a difficult decision to make. Would it be less stressful for her to leave her here with my father-in-law or take her with us?

We are moving from a somewhat country setting, where she had free run of the place, to a traditional neighborhood with a small backyard. She is an indoor/outdoor cat. I just want to do what is best for her.

A: There are times when it is hard to make decisions about our beloved cats who share their lives with us. It is always important that the cat’s needs, health, happiness and well-being are put in front of our own desires. This isn’t always easy to do, especially when we have a deep attachment to our cats.

Many factors need to be examined to determine if Cammy should go with you or be left at your father-in-law’s house. Relocating cats is usually a stressful situation for cats and humans alike. Most cats attach and bond to their human companions and to their environment. The following questions will help guide you in making the right decision:

1. Where is the safest place for Cammy? If she is to continue living as an indoor/outdoor cat, is she safer at your father-in-law’s house or at the new house?

2. Is Cammy more bonded to your father-in-law or you?

3. Does your father-in-law have a strong connection and love for Cammy? Everyone’s relationship, including yours, Cammy’s and your father-in-law’s needs to be looked at.

4. Where will Cammy get the best veterinarian care, the best food, the most attention?

5. Where will she be the happiest?

6. Are you willing to let go of her if it will ensure the healthiest and happiest situation for Cammy?

It is good to hear that you want to do what is best for Cammy, regardless of your own attachment to her.

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Reader Comments

E    Attleboro, MA

5/21/2008 12:31:51 AM

I would take Cammy with me!!

kino    spring valley, CA

5/20/2008 7:09:57 PM

thanks for sharing

Ronny    West Bloomfield,, MI

5/20/2008 11:52:38 AM

I would take Cammy with you. She is attached to you and would be very lonely. She can adjust to being an indoor cat only. I know I've done it. I could never leave my best friend.

Cathy    Hubbard, OH

5/20/2008 6:14:21 AM

I agree that whatever would be the best for Cammy is the way to go. Also, I would be afraid to take and indoor/outdoor cat to a traditional neighborhood. Run over by a car. I know from experience. Better to have an all indoor cat.

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